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Brain Pathol. 2011 Jul;21(4):452-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2010.00469.x. Epub 2011 Jan 27.

Deposition of hyperphosphorylated tau in cerebellum of PS1 E280A Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Institute of Neuropathology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.


Early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease (AD) caused by presenilin-1 mutation E280A (PS1-E280A) presents wide clinical and neuropathological variabilities. We characterized clinically and neuropathologically PS1-E280A focusing in cerebellar involvement and compared it with early-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease (EOSAD). Twelve E280A brains and 12 matched EOSAD brains were analyzed for beta-amyloid and hyperphosphorylated tau (pTau) morphology, beta-amyloid subspecies 1-40, 1-42 levels, pTau levels, and expression of stress kinases in frontal cortex and cerebellum. The data were correlated to clinical and genetic findings. We observed higher beta-amyloid load, beta-amyloid 1-42 and pTau concentrations in frontal cortex of PS1-E280A compared with EOSAD. High beta-amyloid load was found in the cerebellum of PS1-E280A and EOSAD patients. In PS1-E280A, beta-amyloid localized to the molecular and Purkinje cell layers, whereas EOSAD showed them in Purkinje and granular cell layers. Surprisingly, 11 out of 12 PS1-E280A patients showed deposition of pTau in the cerebellum. Also, seven out of 12 PS1-E280A patients presented cerebellar ataxia. We conclude that deposition of beta-amyloid in the cerebellum is prominent in early-onset AD irrespective of genetic or sporadic origin. The presence of pTau in cerebellum in PS1-E280A underscores the relevance of cerebellar involvement in AD and might be correlated to clinical phenotype.

© 2011 The Authors; Brain Pathology © 2011 International Society of Neuropathology.

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